April 10, 2024
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The Israeli military struck Hamas positions in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, December 29, following a cross-border shooting attack earlier in the day. An Israeli civilian working on the security fence near the northern Gaza Strip sustained minor injuries at noon, apparently due to Palestinian sniper fire, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said.

Palestinian media reported that the Israeli military responded to the shooting with artillery fire towards a number of Hamas sites in the Strip. The IDF confirmed the shellings. The Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry said three Palestinians have been wounded. Their identity was not immediately clear.

The incident comes amid a series of lone-wolf terrorist attacks in Judea and Samaria and Jerusalem, as well as several security incidents involving Palestinian prisoners jailed in Israel, and threats of escalation by the Gaza-based
terrorist groups.

It also comes a day after Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas met Defense Minister Benny Gantz in the latter’s home in Rosh Ha’ayin for his first talks with a senior Israeli official inside Israel in over a decade. There have been ongoing efforts to reach a stable, long-term ceasefire following a major escalation of violence in May.

Hamas, the terrorist group controlling the Gaza Strip that openly seeks Israel’s destruction, and the Palestinian Islamic
Jihad are frustrated by the impasse in the ceasefire talks with Israel and have increased their threats of escalation over the past few days.

Hamas lambasted Abbas over the meeting and called it a “stab in the back.”

The terrorist groups in the coastal enclave staged a massive military drill on Monday, December 27, practicing attacks against Israeli security forces. It included Hamas, the PIJ, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and the Popular Resistance Committees—a coalition of a number of small Palestinian terrorist groups in Gaza.

Palestinian media reported that the maneuvers “seek to convey political and military messages to Israel and the other mediators” that Hamas and the other groups in Gaza are growing impatient with the sluggish attempts to broker a long-term ceasefire between the Jewish state and the Islamist terrorist group.

The Defense Ministry said that the victim “is an employee of a civilian company contracted by the ministry, who carried out routine maintenance work on the security fence. He sustained minor injuries to his leg and was treated on-site before being evacuated to the Brazilian Medical Center in Ashkelon.”

According to the hospital, the 33-year-old was struck by shrapnel as he worked on an ATV near Kibbutz Nahal Oz.

The army ordered farmers to stay away from land near the Gaza border.

By Lilach Shoval and Ilya Yegorov/Israel Hayom via JNS and combined sources

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